Areas of specialization in software engineering programs could include bioinformatics, e-business systems, artificial intelligence, computer engineering, business applications and entrepreneurship, as well as security. Security concentration options are typically designed to teach students how to recognize, prevent and manage security threats and malicious intrusions to computer systems. A senior project could be required for graduation depending on the school.
A high school diploma or GED is required for admissions into software engineering bachelor's programs.
Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
Software engineering coursework typically covers programming, software and databases. The specialization portion of the program typically requires completion of 12-18 hours of coursework. Topics in the program include:
- Criminology and computer crime
- Software engineering
- Object-oriented programming
- Database and operating systems
- Software construction, architecture, and quality assurance
Popular Career Options
Graduates of software engineering programs can enter a variety of positions where the design and protection of software systems is necessary to the operation of a professional organization. Some career titles could include:
- Software engineer
- Computer programmer
- Software developer
- System analyst
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a good job outlook for software developers, with faster-than-average 21% growth expected over the decade spanning 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). Demand for systems software developers and applications software developers, will grow at rates of 10% and 26%, respectively. In May 2018, systems software developers made a median salary of $110,000, and applications developers made slightly less at $103,620.
The BLS reports that employment growth from 2018-2028 is expected to decline by 7% for computer programmers and grow faster than average at 9% for systems analysts. May 2018 median wages were $84,280 for programmers and $88,740 for systems analysts.
Continuing Education Information
Due to the changing and advancing nature of the technology, software engineers may take continuing education courses to stay abreast of advances. Voluntary certification in various software programs is commonly available through software vendors, and can help professionals in the field demonstrate their competency working in those programs.
At the graduate level, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy programs in software engineering are available. These programs can include more research concepts and advanced coursework, which could help software engineers advance their careers or move into academic positions.
Students who earn a BS in software engineering will have the opportunity to focus on software design and software development over the course of the program. Voluntary certification is available for students who would like to master and demonstrate competency of programs that are used in this program.